News (USA)

Cops’ disgusting racist & homophobic text messages call 1400 cases into question

Cops’ disgusting racist & homophobic text messages call 1400 cases into question
Photo: Shutterstock

A cadre of police officers’ despicable text messages over the past few years could allegedly jeopardize almost 1400 cases. The cops incredibly offensive messages included racist and anti-LGBTQ slurs, memes mocking violence against minority groups, and shockingly candid admissions to targeting minority groups.

Approximately 18 officers, most with the Torrance Police Department, have been implicated, calling their testimony and arrests into question – particularly since they also admit to lying to internal investigators. Other officers were in the text group but didn’t respond and aren’t being investigated.

Related: Restaurant forced to apologize after staff asked armed officers to leave

The group allegedly joked about lynching Black people, “gassing” Jews, and beating LGBTQ people. The n-word, anti-LGBTQ slurs, and demeaning names for Latinos also were common.

“So we totally racially profiled his ass, haha … Shopping at 7/11 while Black, he didn’t know the rules lol,” one officer texted the group after learning he was the subject of a racial profiling complaint. The complaint was dismissed and the officer was cleared of any misconduct allegations.

Members repeatedly cheered on police violence and mocked racial justice protestors. One officer complained about being assigned to work with a gay cop and threatened to “straight punch” a gay man, using derogatory slurs about him. Many members had been involved in excessive force, false arrest, and wrongful death lawsuits.

The text messages were revealed when two of the bigoted cops were so bold they spraypainted a swastika and a smiley face inside of a suspect’s car before it could be towed. The subsequent investigation led to the discovery of the text messages. Both men were in the group chat.

“What those text messages revealed was an extraordinarily hostile attitude toward people of color, people who are nonbinary, people who have different sexual orientations,” Walter Katz, a former independent police auditor in California, told the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t know that we can take anything they’ve said at face value.”

The newspaper examined several of the messages, internal documents, and interviewed prosecutors and defense attorneys to confirm the story. The outlet was able to identify at least 13 individuals, while the department confirmed at least another five are under investigation.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Cameron Bess will become the first out pansexual person to go to space

Previous article

Hate crimes are on the rise. So why aren’t they being prosecuted?

Next article